Coinbase Faces Fresh Bitcoin Cash Insider Trading Lawsuit Following Initial Rejection

Users who filed a class action lawsuit against U.S. cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider Coinbase will now go to court Jan. 31, 2019, new court documents filed Nov. 20 confirm.

The lawsuit, which Jeffery Berk filed earlier this year to address alleged insider trading of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) among Coinbase officials in 2017, failed to make it to trial in October.

As Cointelegraph reported, District Judge Vince Chhabria threw out Berk’s claims due to the failure to “describe the scope or content of Coinbase’s duty.”

Now, an amended version of the lawsuit focuses on the exchange purportedly falling foul of its own listing rules.

“The sudden launch (of BCH) was effectively part of an attack by Coinbase and (CEO Brian Armstrong) to depress the price of BTC and to inflate the price of BCH, to encourage more transactions and greater profitability for Coinbase,” the new filing reads.

Coinbase must respond by Dec. 20 prior to the initial hearing in January.

In September, Chhabria claimed Coinbase had “bungled” the BCH rollout but was already considering throwing out Berk’s lawsuit with leave to amend.

The company had conducted an internal investigation into insider trading, concluding in July that no such activity had taken place.

The latest accusations add to the stack of negative publicity BCH is also facing after its contentious hard fork Nov. 15 sparked major market volatility and a chain split.

The impact of the altcoin’s divergence into two competing cryptocurrencies continues, with one, Bitcoin Cash SV, falling in value to as little as $32 Nov. 21 after a blockchain reorganization.



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Bitcoin Price Watch: BTC Targets Fresh Lows Below $5,200, Market Gloomy

Key Points

  • Bitcoin price is currently under pressure below the $5,500 resistance level against the US Dollar.
  • There was a break below a key bullish trend line with support at $5,530 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The price is declining and it seems like it could break the $5,230 and $5,200 support levels.

Bitcoin price is moving lower towards the last low against the US Dollar. BTC/USD could accelerate declines below if there is a break below the $5,200 support.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

The past few hours were pretty bearish because bitcoin price was rejected near $5,600 against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair started a fresh decline and traded below the $5,550 and $5,500 support levels. There was even a break below the $5,400 support and the 100 hourly simple moving average. It opened the doors for more losses towards the $5,230 and $5,200 levels.

During the slide, there was a break below a key bullish trend line with support at $5,530 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Later, the price traded below the $5,350 support and the 1.236 Fib extension level of the recent wave from the $5,414 low to $5,700 swing high. The current price action is super bearish and it seems like the price could even break the $5,206 low. An immediate support is $5,230 and the 1.618 Fib extension level of the recent wave from the $5,414 low to $5,700 swing high. If there are more losses, the price could even trade below the $5,200 support.

Looking at the chart, bitcoin price is at a risk of a downside break below the $5,200 and $5,150 levels. There are even chances of a test of the $5,000 handle in the near term.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is gaining pace in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is well below the 30 level.

Major Support Level – $5,200

Major Resistance Level – $5,500

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Bitcoin Price Watch: BTC/USD Targets Fresh Weekly Lows

Key Points

  • Bitcoin price declined recently below the $6,300 support before correcting higher against the US Dollar.
  • There was a break above a connecting bearish trend line with resistance at $6,360 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The price is struggling to break the $6,380 resistance and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

Bitcoin price is trading in a bearish zone below $6,400 against the US Dollar. BTC/USD could decline further towards the $6,250 or $6,220 level in the near term.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

After trading as high as $6,553, bitcoin price started a major downside correction against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair traded below the $6,440 and $6,400 support levels to move into a bearish zone. The price even settled below the $6,400 support and the 100 hourly simple moving average. Sellers managed to push the price towards the $6,250 support before buyers appeared near $6,260.

A low was formed at $6,275 and later the price corrected higher. It moved above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $6,553 high to $6,257 low. Moreover, there was a break above a connecting bearish trend line with resistance at $6,360 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. However, the upside move was capped by the $6,380 level and the 100 hourly SMA. It seems like the price may decline once again if there is a break below $6,340 and $6,320. In the mentioned scenario, the price could even trade below the $6,275 low and form a new weekly low.

Looking at the chart, bitcoin price needs to move past $6,380 and $6,400 to recover further. The next resistance is near $6,440 and the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the last drop from the $6,553 high to $6,257 low.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is slowly moving back in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI just moved below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $6,375

Major Resistance Level – $6,400

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Bitcoin Price Watch: BTC/USD Targets Fresh High Above $6,400

Key Points

  • Bitcoin price gained traction and moved above the $6,335 and $6,350 resistances against the US Dollar.
  • There was a break above a key bearish trend line with resistance at $6,345 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The price is currently correcting lower, but there are decent supports near $6,345 and $6,325.

Bitcoin price is gaining upside momentum against the US Dollar. BTC/USD could dip a few points before it climbs above the $6,380 and $6,400 levels.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

Yesterday, we saw a decent upside move from the $6,220 swing low in bitcoin price against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair moved higher and traded above the $6,300 and $6,325 resistances. Later, there was a minor downside correction and the price tested the $6,290 support, which was a resistance earlier. The price bounced back again and traded above $6,335 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

The upside move was strong as the price traded close to the $6,380 level. Moreover, there was a break above a key bearish trend line with resistance at $6,345 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. The pair traded as low as $6,379 and it is currently correcting lower. Sellers pushed the price below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $6,291 low to $6,379 high. At the moment, the broken trend line is acting as a support near $6,345-50. Below this, the price could test the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from the $6,291 low to $6,379 high at $6,335.

Looking at the chart, bitcoin price is pointing positive signs above the $6,325 and $6,335 levels. If there is an upside break above $6,380, the price will most likely surpass $6,400 for more gains.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is slightly placed in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI is placed above the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $6,335

Major Resistance Level – $6,380

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Invest in Gold and Crypto Petro, Venezuela’s President Tells Public in Fresh TV Plug

The president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro called on workers to save in gold and state-run cryptocurrency Petro during a salary shake-up he announced Thursday, October 18, local news portal Noticiero Digital reports.

In a television broadcast, Maduro said that “in the coming weeks,” workers would begin receiving bonus payments “based on” Petro, rather than extant fiat currency, the Sovereign Bolivar.

Since receiving its formal launch, Petro has continued to garner suspicion from multiple sources both within and outside Venezuela, criticism stemming from its alleged backing from a state oil company with larger debts than the cryptocurrency’s market cap.

The tenuous situation led to an investigative piece by technology publication Wired in August describing it as a “scam on top of another scam.”

Unfazed, Maduro said the new bonus scheme represented payments “as it should be,” while also requesting viewers to turn to gold and Petro for their savings.

“I call on workers to invest a part of their bonuses in the gold savings plan, come here, legally, you will have your legal certificate, invest it in Petro to strengthen the family economy,” he said.

The announcement comes the same week Maduro authorized six alleged cryptocurrency exchanges in Venezuela to begin offering Petro trading.

Those involved have already attracted scrutiny themselves, with one, Cryptia, appearing to have zero trade volume for its existing assets Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dash (DASH) and Ripple (XRP).

In August, Maduro had mentioned Petro’s forthcoming use as a unit of account for salaries.



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South Korea Gov’t Sponsors Blockchain Hackathon in Fresh Public Awareness Drive

South Korea continues its drive to promote and expand uses for blockchain, announcing a hackathon to bring new ideas from the public Monday, August 27.

The brainchild of the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency (KIPA), the event is now accepting applications and will run in late November as part of the state-sponsored ‘Blockchain Promotion Week.’

Also supporting the scheme is the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, which has begun a comprehensive blockchain awareness program stretching into 2019.

According to local news outlet Money Today, the hackathon will focus on “solving social problems and innovating public and private services through blockchain technology, and the development of distributed apps (DApps) […] for improving the efficiency of the public and private sector, providing nationwide benefits.”

The winning team will receive a prize worth 100 million won (about $90,000), with applications open until September 28.

“The use of blockchain technology will lead to an innovative change in people’s lives,” Money Today quotes KISA director Kim Seok-hwan as saying:

“By participating in this competition, everyone will have the opportunity to participate and contribute.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, September will also see the start of a fresh round of the Ministry’s youth training initiative. Spanning six months, participants will gain training and employment prospects in companies operating in the blockchain sector and elsewhere.

Blockchain is further set to see major investment as an industry from the Korean state in the coming years, with at least 5 trillion won ($4.4 billion) earmarked for 2019.



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China’s Baidu Joins Tech Giants Tencent, Alibaba in Imposing Fresh Anti-Crypto Measures

Chinese tech giant Baidu has joined Tencent and Alibaba in imposing new anti-crypto measures in line with Beijing’s toughened stance, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports Monday, August 27.

China’s ‘Google,’ Baidu, has closed at least two popular crypto-related chat forums, according to SCMP, with a notice reportedly informing users that the move comes “in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies.”

Meanwhile, Tencent — the operator of the 1-billion-user social media platform WeChat, has reportedly issued a statement announcing its own ban on crypto trading. The platform has said it will monitor daily transactions in real time and block any suspicious transactions accordingly.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba — whose subsidiary Ant Financial runs the overwhelmingly popular internet payment app Alipay — has for its part said it will restrict or permanently ban any accounts it finds to be engaged in crypto trading.

All three announcements follow closely upon the heels of last week’s onslaught of toughened anti-crypto measures in China. These included a ban on all commercial venues from hosting any crypto-related events in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, alongside measures targeting communication channels or “loopholes” through which Chinese investors can gain exposure to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and crypto trading.

As reported August 21, WeChat permanently blocked a number of high-profile crypto and blockchain related accounts — including CoinDaily, Deepchain, and Huobi News — that were accused of publishing crypto “hype” in violation of regulations introduced earlier this month.

On August 24, Alipay announced that it would block those accounts that use its network to transact in Bitcoin (BTC) over-the-counter (OTC) trade, and would further establish an inspection system for “key websites and accounts.” Ant Financial has also reportedly said it plans to conduct a “risk prevention” program intended to educate users about the dangers of false crypto-related “propaganda.”

On August 25, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued its own fresh warning declaring that it would be ratcheting up stringent measures against “illegal” ICOs.

According to CT Japan, new measures are also reportedly underway to toughen the “clean-up” of third-party crypto payment channels, including those used by OTC platforms.

This January, a fresh crackdown from Beijing had notably already seen fringe trading platforms including as peer-to-peer (P2P) and OTC resources banned, adding to a blanket embargo on crypto-to-fiat trading and ICOs in place since September 2017.



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Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTCUSD Expecting Fresh Lows


Before we begin our analysis, it is important to discuss what had prompted a sudden $500-drop in the Bitcoin market. OKEx, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange, recently issued a statement that mentioned one of their customers as the main perpetrator of the latest Bitcoin bear-trap. The OKEx client initiated a relatively large long position which, despite being reviewed and frozen by the exchange, caused havoc at the Bitcoin market.

So, we can assume that someone executed the bear-job single-handedly, and a panic-sell ensued.

The past 24 hours in the BTC/USD market witnessed minor upside corrections. The pair tested 7135-fiat as interim resistance but failed to break above it for too long, eventually slipping back to where it is at the time of this writing. at 6966-fiat. Nevertheless, the BTC/USD is now down over 18% since testing 8512-fiat.

BTCUSD Technical Analysis

We are now looking at the formation of another bear flag inside an overall ascending channel, indicating a strong bearish pattern in general. The BTC/USD has also slipped below its 50, 100, and 200H moving averages to further intensify the selling pressure. The RSI and Stochastic Oscillator, both, have recovered from their respective oversold areas following the latest knee-jerk bounce back; they are neutral.

Overall, the market is biased towards bears.

BTCUSD Intraday Analysis

As mentioned in our previous analysis, we had opened a long position towards 7135-fiat while expecting a bounce back following the $500-drop. We managed to squeeze out a decent intraday profit out of our position.

Following the pullback, we are back in the same range, defined by 7135-fiat as our interim resistance, and 6809-fiat as our interim support. Both the levels are defined by their respective Fibonacci retracement levels of the last uptrend move from $5,754 low to $8,517 high. At the same time, we had already cleared our intentions to consider 7000-fiat as our intermediate support/resistance level, depending on which direction the BTC/USD is moving towards.

We have now entered a short position towards 6809-fiat while keeping our stop loss a 2-pips above the entry point. Should the downside momentum intensify, we’ll be looking out to break below 6809-fiat and put a quick short position towards 6675-fiat. A stop-loss 3-pips above the entry point will define our risk.

Looking the other way, a jump above 700-fiat could reconfirm our trust in an extended consolidation. This would allow us to place another long position towards 7135-fiat, while a stop-loss 2-pips below the entry point will protect us from any sharp pullback (with the possibility of a bear pole formation).

However, in case of extended upside run, we’ll first wait to break above the interim resistance before placing another long position. If it happens, 7275-fiat would be our upside target, while the stop loss will remain a 2-pips below the entry point like usual.

Trade safe!

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Tether on Strings? Crypto Debates Fresh Round of Manipulation Claims

As they say, shots were fired.

An investigative article raising concerns about possible market manipulation of tether has sparked a social media firestorm, with the dollar-pegged cryptocurrency’s detractors, supporters and seemingly everyone in between weighing in.

In an incendiary take on an already controversial topic, Bloomberg analyzed tether trading data from the Kraken crypto exchange and found several “red flags,” as the headline described them.

Complete with colorful annotated charts and interactive data visualizations, the article published Friday sought to characterize the market for tethers, also known as USDT, as defying the laws of supply and demand, going so far as to say it is suggestive of wash trading – a maneuver “in which cheaters trade with themselves to create a false impression of market demand.”

Some hailed the data analysis, which pulled from more than 56,000 trades on Kraken over a period of eight weeks, as a “deep dive into suspicious trading patterns,” and a prime illustration of “why institutional money is staying out of the market.” 

Release the Kraken

But then Bloomberg, for better or for worse, became part of the story.

On Sunday, Kraken published a characteristically combative blog post rebutting the analysis by the four Bloomberg reporters who contributed to the article.

The post, whose very title (“On Tether: Journalists Defy Logic, Raising Red Flags”) was a dig at Bloomberg’s headline, went so far as to suggest that the authors of the piece lacked subject matter expertise, saying:

“It’s scary to think that our lawmakers are reading this stuff. The title sure was sensational, and it undoubtedly grabbed eyeballs but what of the readers who are not following the outrage on Reddit and Twitter? What of those who rely on the journalistic integrity and expertise of their news sources?”

Others appeared to agree, with varying degrees of tact.

But the pushback was not limited to ad hominems. Specifically addressing the article’s contention that heightened demand for USDT on Kraken should have temporarily driven the coin’s price up to $1.10, one Reddit user argued that arbitrage opportunities keep the price close to $1, writing:

“Of course we’re not seeing that as Kraken USDTUSD divergence from $1 is equal to Bitfinex cryptoUSD premium or discount. A 1.1 dollar USDT would mean a ~10% discount on Finex. It shouldn’t be that hard to comprehend.”

Still, longtime critics of tether remained unconvinced by such arguments.


Common ground

Despite the intense debate, there is actually one thing tether’s defenders and doubters seem to agree on: not all trades in this crypto asset are done out of a human-driven profit incentive.

If you accept the premise that certain amounts of tether are purposefully injected into the markets and alternatively bought from the markets by “bots” with the sole intention of maintaining parity with the dollar, the oddly specific order sizes and their frequency as depicted in the data by Bloomberg start to make sense.

As another commentator on Reddit explained,

“As long as there are an active party doing market intervention to maintain the peg i am sure you will see some strange action in the order book… Tether is actively managing this on all exchanges that have the USDTUSD cross. If they did not provide ‘unlimited’ liquidity on both buy and sellside the peg would break.”

In other words, the odd patterns reported by Bloomberg may suggest actions by Tether, the company behind USDT, to issue coins when the value is high and buy it up when the value is low, in order to maintain its value at $1.

But if so, this points to another, longstanding controversy around Tether: the potential for the company at some point in time to issue more currency than it actually has the reserves to back, which some are quite adamant is already the case.

Nevertheless, whether you agree with such interpretations or not, it’s worth noting the basic principles of economics that ring true through this entire discussion.

The same concepts of supply and demand that informed the Bloomberg article were used in turn by Kraken to argue they promote stability in tether prices. They can also be used to point out the inherent vulnerabilities in a fixed pegged currency, crypto or not.

It’s elementary, my dear Watson.

Strings image via Shutterstock 

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.



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Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD Targets Fresh Lows

Key Highlights

  • Ripple price failed to move above the $0.4750 resistance and declined against the US dollar.
  • There is a major bearish trend line in place with resistance near $0.4600 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).
  • The pair could accelerate declines below $0.4300 and it may even trade to a new low in the near term.

Ripple price is facing a heavy selling interest against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. XRP/USD is likely to decline further below the $0.4300 and $0.4200 levels.

Ripple Price Support

Yesterday, there was a minor upside correction above the $0.4600 level in Ripple price against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair even traded above the $0.4700 level. However, the upside move was capped by the $0.4750 resistance. The price was rejected, resulting in a downside reaction below the $0.4600 level. It even broke the $0.4500 and $0.4400 support levels.

A low was formed at $0.4393 and it seems like there could be more losses in the near term. An initial resistance is near the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $0.4572 high to $0.4393 low. However, the most important resistance is near the $0.4600 level. There is also a major bearish trend line in place with resistance near $0.4600 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. The 50% Fib retracement level of the last decline from the $0.4572 high to $0.4393 low is below the trend line to prevent gains. Therefore, if the price corrects higher, it is likely to face sellers near the $0.4600 and $0.4620 levels.

Looking at the chart, the price remains at a risk of more declines below the $0.4400 level. The next supports are seen near the $0.4320 and $0.4200 levels.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is placed heavily in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is now well below the 35 level.

Major Support Level – $0.4350

Major Resistance Level – $0.4600

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